A former Iowa sports radio host was indicted this week on federal charges after he was accused of defrauding investors out of more than $1 million, according to the Des Moines Register.
Martin “Marty” Tirrell, who hosted sports talk radio shows on KXNO and other stations in Iowa for years, is facing six criminal fraud charges after he allegedly scammed “at least eight people out of $1.5 million in 2016 and 2017,” according to the report. Tirrell allegedly told investors that he could buy sports tickets and resell them at a profit.
Tirrell initially paid back investors and gave them VIP access to events. According to the report, however, he eventually started lying to investors and used their money on personal items or to pay back other investors. He also allegedly sent out checks he knew would bounce and reportedly provided investors with false wire transfer information.
According to the report, Tirrell is currently facing one count of mail fraud after sending four faulty checks for more than $355,000, two counts of wire fraud after receiving two checks totaling more than $90,000, one count of access device fraud for using an investor’s credit card, and one count of bank fraud after attempting to deposit a check worth more than $13,000 twice. He is also accused of submitting multiple fraud claims related to his debit card.
The 59-year-old was taken into custody on Wednesday, and currently is being held at the Polk County jail. He has been involved in at least 24 other civil lawsuits in Iowa that alleged similar scams, according to the Des Moines Register.
The scam is similar to what former New York City sports radio host Craig Carton was convicted for in November. Carton, the longtime host of “Boomer & Carton” on WFAN in New York, was convicted on conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud after it was determined he “used deceit” to raise more than $4 million to buy event tickets that he resold at a profit.
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